"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May Word of the Month - My Gypsy Soul

A new month brings a new Word of the Month!  

But before I say anything else, let me express my thoughts and prayers for the people that have lost so much due to the tornadoes and storms last week.  My husband's stepsister lost her home and car in Tuscaloosa, AL.  More tragic is that her neighbors' baby was killed.  Someone that I know and respect lost his home in North Georgia.  He, his wife and children are all okay, but they, too, have a neighbor who lost a child.  This past weekend I talked to a young woman in Greenville, SC, who formerly lived in Tuscaloosa and she had a friend that was killed. A young man that checked me out of a local store last week had several friends from the University of Alabama that he couldn't get in touch with the day after the tornado and he was worried sick.  Here in the South, it seems everyone knows someone who has been touched by this terrible tragedy. Let's all keep praying and supporting those whose lives will be forever changed and saddened by this course of events.

With that said, let me continue with happier thoughts....

I have taken an unexpected hiatus from the blog due to several factors, but I'm back! Consider yourself warned.........

I've thought a great deal about what this month's word would be.  For a few seconds I considered tying it in with the fantastic news of Osama Bin Laden's death.  The word perseverance came to mind since our troops have never given up in the almost 10 years since the Twin Towers came down.  But that would be too easy, too obvious, and we will get lots of that theme in the days to come.  So I have decided to take a different tack.  Sometimes, in this world of madness, words just need to be lovely and pretty and give us something to reflect on, don't you agree?

Which brings me to Prince William and Kate's wedding.  I know, we have all heard it and watched the coverage till we are sick of it and that's not where this is going.  What it IS leading to, is that with the beautiful spring weather here over the weekend, watching the Royal Wedding in London that was decked out in its finest, talking to my son-in-law and daughter about upcoming vacations and possibly some hiking in the Appalachians has put me in a state of wanderlust. The month of May particularly, in full springtime mode and on the cusp of early summer, lends itself to wanderlust and thinking of exotic places, at least in my world.

Isn't that a terrific word to say outloud?  Wanderlust.  Say it with me...."wanderlust". It isn't just about wanting to travel.  Oh, no, it has an air of something mystical and intriguing, mysterious and beckoning.  The definition of wanderlust is "...a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world...."  I like this one - "a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about".  And that my friends, is what  I have...an "innate" urge to go somewhere, experience something new, explore new horizons. Coming from the German language, it means literally "Wandern"  - to hike - and "Lust" - desire..

But, alas, my wanderlust is unfulfilled.  Other than a trip to Hilton Head this August, which, don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to immensely, I have no plans to scratch my wanderlust itch.  It is the places I haven't been to and have wanted to see that are calling to me today.  For years I have had certain destinations on my "bucket" list.  These are destinations that I don't want to visit for just a few days, but to explore at leisure, as if there were no time schedules or deadlines to adhere to. And recently, as I approach 59 years of age, I am beginning to doubt that I shall ever go to most of them.  Having to work and having limited resources (money) puts a damper on wanderlust

However, does one ever get too old to dream?  I hope not.  It would be a sad day if, at a certain age, all dreams die off and never return, don't you think?  The death of dreams strikes certain words and ideas from your life, your very soul, and that is not a place I can go to in my deepest inner being.

So, you ask, where is it exactly that my wanderlust would lead me?  Ah, that is easy to answer.  Here is a short run-down of destinations that take up my dreams of flight:

1) Ireland:  The Emerald Isle, Erin, place of leprechauns and pubs.  I close my eyes and I am standing in a pub in some small Irish village, a pint of Guiness in my hand and an Irish folk band, complete with penny whistle and bodhran drum, are playing in the corner.  I want to wander the countryside and take side trips to places like Dublin and Waterford, and buy Irish crystal and wool sweaters and scarves.

2) Alaska:  Land of the Midnight Sun, The Last Frontier State.  This is a state of grandeur, glaciers, mountains.  Denali, the highest summit in North America, calls for me to come and hike, not climb, mind you, but just hike in the lower levels.  Once known as Mt. McKinley, Denali (meaning The High One) and its National Park lands are beautiful from all accounts that I have read or heard.  I want to salmon fish, see Kodiak bears and sled dogs, lumberjacks and Yupik Indians, take a day cruise along the coast or on a river to see whales and seals, stay in a cabin. But most of all, I want to talk to the locals to get a sense of the mindset of living in a more challenging environment than that of the lower 48.

3) Vancouver, B.C., Canada:  Host city to the 2010 Winter Olympics, a truly international city.  I hear that it is very impressive as cities go and the setting by the ocean with mountains in the background is gorgeous.  But the absolute main reason I want and need to go to Vancouver is that my baby girl, Lane, and her husband live in the heart of Vancouver near Robson Street.  I think that is sufficient enough reason and experiencing Vancouver would just be icing on the cake, especially considering I haven't seen Lane in three years!

4) Montana/Wyoming:  Yellowstone National Park is the draw, as well as the Grand Tetons National Park.  As in Alaska, the vistas are supposed to be breathtaking.  Let's not forget Old Faithful, the geyser of all geysers.  A stay in one of the historic lodges would be wonderful!  Jackson Hole looks like a must-see, too.

5) Colorado:  I'm a big fan of John Denver.  He sold me on Colorado through his music a long time ago.  The Rockies, as most mountain ranges do, entice me.  I want to see aspen forests, ski lodges, and the overall beauty.  I want to stand on the Continental Divide.  While there, a visit with my nephew in Denver would include some trips to his local watering holes to experience some of his favorite bands.  Party on!

6) Tuscany, Italy:  My oldest sister and her dear husband, who is Italian - 2nd generation American, took a long desired and planned (39 years worth of dreaming) 2 week trip to Italy this past fall.  I am so glad that they got to go!  As for me, Tuscany would be just fine.  Piazzas, small village markets, olive oil and wine production, religious art, small chapels and large churches are just a handful of things I want to experience. I can just see Ed and me sitting in a small sidewalk cafe drinking wine or coffee or eating gelato. 

7) London, England, Scotland and Wales:  Do I really need to explain why?  For all the obvious reasons.

8) Vermont, New Hampshire:  I was fortunate enough about 8 years ago to go to Massachusetts in the fall and visit Salem, Concord, Lexington.  We spent one day driving in Vermont and New Hampshire and it wasn't long enough, I can tell you!  What I really, really want is to go during maple sugaring time and see the tapping of the maple trees, experiencing first hand how maple syrup is made.  That may seem strange to most people, but this has been a life long desire, ever since the second grade when I read "The Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her account of sugaring.  One of the main reasons I can't plan this trip is maple sugaring takes place at the end of winter, beginning of spring when the temperatures begin to moderate and the sap rises in the maple trees.  That just happens to coincide with the busiest time of the year at my job as an administrative assistant for two committees at the Georgia House of Representative.  Legislative Session is in full swing at that time each year, which means no vacations during that time frame.  This trip will have to be strictly the stuff of dreams, at least until I retire, if ever.  Sigh....... But every time I eat pancakes I will be there in my imagination!

So there you have my main wanderlust list.  Believe me, these are just a few of the places I want to visit.  In the meantime, I will have my dreams and make my plans.  In my imagination I can wander to no end and satisfy my longings with the placation of "maybe someday" to soothe my gypsy soul.

Do you ever have wanderlust?  Or are you a homebody?  What are your dreams of travel?  Come share where you want to wander off to and why!  I would love to hear from any of you!  Maybe there is a place I have never considered that you can tell me about. 

Bon Voyage and Happy Trails!


  1. Italy is calling my name but it may have to wait a bit : )
    Hope you are doing well!

  2. Thanks! Doing well! Hope you are, too!

  3. I would love to travel the US perhaps Vermont or Montana...places with mountains, water, tall trees. Ahhhhh

  4. Welcome back!

    This is a great post!

    Right now I'd like to be anywhere the sun is shining. I'm not complaining though because we may be soggy, but we still have a roof over our heads.

    There are so many places I'd like to visit....some day.

    Enjoy Hilton Head!

  5. I enjoyed your post very much today. I, too, have wanderlust in my blood. That's why I became a travel agent and toured the world. Keep dreaming, One never knows what lies ahead. Enjoy your upcoming vacation.


  6. Hi Mic,
    Oh my gosh--I am so sorry to hear about how the tragedy affected someone in your family--it is truly devastating. And oh it's awful about the baby...it is unimaginable how the parents feel.

    I hope you have a good weekend...sending blessings your way,

  7. I definitely have always had wanderlust... Your bucket list of places is a good one! One of my favorite places to visit is St. Barts in the French West Indies....it is gorgeous, relaxing and intimate. I think you should just start going and not limit yourself to a future when you can explore at your leisure. Maybe then you could just revisit places as your list dwindles... Just a thought.
    Happy Mother's Day!!

  8. So much sadness. I have family that live in the Huntsville,
    Alabama area. They were okay. So many lost so much. I heard about the baby, terrible.
    Your list looks alot like mine. We are going to Hilton Head in June.
    I can't reach your email address. I am choosing you to Pay It Forward. Please send your address to my email grammypetals@yahoo.com Thanks.

  9. What??? If you really told the truth, you would let everyone know your top place to visit is .....Stockbridge, GA! Come on, tell the truth. And, second on your list would have to be the goodwill store, third, yard sales and finally, Scott's Antique!!